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Fake ESW10 pictures vs real (56k warning)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, so having picked up some fake ones when I was expecting real ones in a transaction (I have since received my money back, so all ends well) I figured I would post some pictures comparing the two so people can spot the fakes if they get them.

The fakes are very good copies, and aside from the cups, it really takes a close inspection to tell them apart

First impressions:

Build quality is considerably better on the originals.

The wood cups are obviously not at the same level. The finish is miles deeper on the real ones, and tapping the cups from the outside, the fake ones feel much lighter and plastic compared to the real ones. I suspect they are plastic. The detail of how the cup sits in the ring is not made to the same tolerance either. Also, the writing is much sharper and raised on the real ones. Color is much darker on the real ones as well.

The headband material is a very different feel. Leather on the real ones, and something else on the fakes, and as shown in the pictures, the real one wrinkles when sitting, the fake sits smooth.

The swivels move better on the real ones.

The plastic has a light gold fleck throughout and seems more substantial on the real ones.

The cord is completely different material. The fake is stiffer / springier. Cord length is shorter on the fakes and splits too close to the cups. I had noticed it seemed a little short, the real one is definitely a much better length for the two leads.

The weight feels substantially different. The real ones feel substantially heavier. (Which makes sense) Given that I weighed the fakes on a postal scale, and they came in at 180g (10g over the claimed weight for the real ones) I suspect that the claimed weight is highly optimistic, and I’ll weigh the real ones tomorrow to get a comparison. EDIT: went to the post office and weighed the real ones. They actually came in at 175g (6.2 oz) so they are actually lighter, so it looks like that is not a way to tell the real vs fake.

Sound. Hmm.

Not really close to be honest. The fakes do actually sound reasonably good but the real ones are considerably more detailed. The fakes also sound a little flat in comparison and that they are missing things. I also haven’t noticed the resonance that I was getting in the fakes on strong bass of the right frequencies. HOWEVER - when I first received them, without the real ones to compare to, the fakes sounded good enough for me to question whether they were fake, and there are still things I like about their sound better than my DT770s and my Sennhesier PXC450s with noise cancelling off. There are some giveaways though, for one, there is a resonance coming from both sides under the right bass frequencies on the fakes. It's subtle, but annoying, and only shows up occasionally.

Comfort:

Cups on the real ones are definitely more comfortable. We’ll see if they work for longer term comfort, but I definitely have hopes. The pads are also quite different. The real ones have zigzag stitching that is much more accurate, and the shape is very different. (see pad picture) Also, the pad fit on the phones is quite different. On the fakes, it is very easy to pull the pads on and off. The real ones were tight enough that I gave up after some gentle tugs. Also, the fakes the pads will spin on the cups, moving quite easily, on the real ones, they seem fixed in place and won't rotate.

Amp response:

Interestingly enough, using my D10 cobra as the amp, the difference between them is less pronounced (although still substantial) than through my desktop Parasound PLD 2000. I suspect if I try my optical hookup and go through the Parasound DAC as well, the differences will be much more profound. I had been disappointed in the fakes through the Parasound in that the improvement vs the D10 was not as noticeable as with my DT770s and others. The real ones respond very nicely to the amp upgrade though.

Metal for the arms:

Real one is shiny stainless, fake is matt, probably mild steel. Also feels less sturdy.


Pics:

General comparison of the two, real is darker wood on the cups


Note the metal differences here, and the gold fleck in the real ones plastic. Also the different stitching / positioning of the stitching on the cups. Real is on top. One particular giveaway is that the sides of the real pads are basically flush, also on the real pads, the stitching appears to be done on the outside whereas on the fakes it looks like the stitching was done on the inside, and then the pad material was turned inside out so on the real ones, the stitching is visible, and the thread is on the outside, and on the fakes, the seam indents quite a bit from the surface



Differences in the cups note the lettering differences, yes the fakes already have the paint flaking off. The real ones are much sharper and raised




Headbands, note the puckering on the real one. I suspect the fake is not leather.
post #2 of 14
Can you tell whether these ones are legit?

post #3 of 14
As a complete off-topic post, I'd like to just say that the "56K warning" shouldn't be needed anymore... If there is anyone that spends a lot of time on this forum who also has a 56K modem, they should be punished with longer load times for not upgrading their internet before the upgrade their headphones. It's a basic necessity of life

/rant

However, I must say that that first photo really shows the difference, aesthetically at least. Also, I'm surprised that in the sound quality area, the fakes aren't completely blown away by the real ones. Amazing how far counterfeiters will go these days.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Actually, as I hear the real ones more, they definitely are considerably better sound quality, particularly with my desktop amp. However, my point is that the fakes are good enough sound quality that without having the direct comparison, people who have heard them thought they sounded quite good, even in comparison to two other mid fi headphones that I have. I am actually stunned at how good a copy they have made, although even when I only suspected they were fake at first, the sound quality didn't seem where I thought it should be. However, they were the first cans I had listened to from AT, and I didn't really have anything to compare them to to know any better.

I just took apart one of the cups. Pics and more impressions coming up.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=MaSTaC7;5965513]Can you tell whether these ones are legit?

Unfortunately, at this point I wouldn't exactly consider myself an experienced counterfeiter spotter, given that I only have my two pairs and this experience to share. Also, the picture isn't really detailed enough.

However:

Couple of giveaways with mine.

a) they didn't come with packaging at all.
b) they came with a black leather pouch instead of the black velvet bag and secondary bag for the cord.

The wood color in the photo looks a lot more like my real ones to me. I can't tell if they have the gold fleck in the plastic, but it's very hard to capture on camera. Unfortunately, I don't have a decent macro lens for my camera.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

inside the cups on the fake

Don't really want to open up the real ones, but here are some shots from inside the fakes. Surprisingly, the outer cup is definitely wood. Seems like balsa or something, can't really tell. Also obviously unfinished on the inside and only rough cut. It would be interesting to see the insides of a real one.



Inside of the wood. Note the rough texture, and poorly aligned cuts



backside of the speaker hook up. Note the figure 8 knot used in the cable for strain relief! Don't know if this is standard for headphones, but from all I know in electronics, that seems like a very poor idea electrically, having a non shielded loop in a wire right near a moving magnetic field.

post #7 of 14
1. The lack of original packaging is a strong indication of any fake product. In this specific case, the leather bag is further confirmation.
2. In response to MaSTaC7, I bought my ESW10s from JITHK and they arrived as described, new and in the original packaging. A search of this site revealed that some members of Head-Fi have also dealt with JITHK, with no complaints.
3. While the plastic of the real ESW10s indeed has gold flecks, it's not as accentuated as it looks in the photos, which could be a result of the flash.
4. It should be noted that there are differences in manufacturing. For instance, a previous exchange with ronrad revealed two different mini-plugs formats on real ESW10s (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/a...98/index2.html).
5. The horizontal pattern of the wood on the fakes is more visible than on the real ones.
6. It seems that the logo (a triangle inside a circle) is reproduced with more bold lines on the fakes, while on the real ones it's thinner and lighter.
post #8 of 14
Thanks for taking the time to do this, I'm sure many people will find it useful.
I do urge people to buy them from legit sources, what's the point of trying to save a few bucks on an item that is known to be faked from a questionable source?
The risk just isn't worth it when you're dealing with these amounts.

The writing on the cups seems to be a bit higher on that particular fake, too.
In the real one, the text is pretty much centered on the cup and lines up with the swivel points, while on the fake the text is slightly above them.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to do this, I'm sure many people will find it useful.
I do urge people to buy them from legit sources, what's the point of trying to save a few bucks on an item that is known to be faked from a questionable source?
The risk just isn't worth it when you're dealing with these amounts.

The writing on the cups seems to be a bit higher on that particular fake, too.
In the real one, the text is pretty much centered on the cup and lines up with the swivel points, while on the fake the text is slightly above them.

Yeah, I thought it would be useful for people to know for sure there are fake ESW10s, and hopefully that keeps people from being scammed. In my case, I was fully refunded, so it all ends well. As to the legit source, that's pretty difficult for ESW10s at the moment. There aren't really any official sources in the US, although it looks like Audiocubes and a few places like that should be getting the real things. In my case, for the packaging, although it was definitely a warning, I bought the item as "used" on ebay, so I wasn't as concerned that it didn't come with packaging, as people will throw the packaging away, and it wasn't brought up as clearly in other posts that the bag is velvet instead of the leather on the ESW9s.
post #10 of 14
I dont know whether it just me alone or not but to me the pics (1st post) were quite oversized
post #11 of 14
Thanks for bumping.....
post #12 of 14

wat do u guys think about this?

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260613328313

looks fake to me

post #13 of 14

They do look fake... his response about counterfeit goods wasn't that helpful to his bids either I suspect!

 

Horribly tempted to bid on them just to find out, heheh.

post #14 of 14
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